1. How long have you been playing softball in
the NKY/Cinci area?
Don Hankinson: 21years
2. Who are
some of the other teams you have played for or been involved
with throughout your career?
Oyster House, Terry's
Bunch,Kwik Mart, Western Hills Window,Trimex Trucking, F & C Athletics,
A.C., and BaseBandits
3. Okay Don, I have been waiting to ask this question. Being that you
my first Base Bandit, you get the pleasure of answering the million
What is the
true story behing the Benny Fields fiasco? I have heard
10 different stories, but now that I am actually
interviewing a Base
Bandit maybe we can get to the bottom of what happened in Indy and go
To my knowledge of what I know Benny had not qualified at the
time of the Indy tournament,know one really knew
about them qualifying
at Pasttime early in the year including Benny and his manager Joe
Barnes.There was not
even a record of it yet at USSSA because someone
from Indy called to see if he had qualified,and there was no evidence
him being on a frozen roster yet,so they had to let him play in the
tournament. Benny is a very good player
but it was a team effort to win
the N.I.T. in Indy, everyone contributed.
Don, when it comes to "C" ball, there is no team finer or better
than the Base Bandits in Nky. The only other team
that I would say
compares to you guys are J-Law Contracting. But for some reason they
cant beat you guys.
What is it in your opinion that you have over these
DH: To me both teams are talented
but I guess I would have to
say we might have 2 things over them at this time right now.
1. We never
give up know matter what the score is if we are up big or
down big, we keep coming after you until the last out.This
does not mean
J-Law relaxes when they are up or down but some teams tend to go into a
cruising mode sometimes
and in the game of softball these days with the
bats and balls no lead is to big to overcome.
right now have the best pitcher in NKY in Andy Isles he
keeps teams off balance with his pitching and his antics on
he has great movement on his ball and pitches behind his back and
between his legs very good. But
believe me J-Law is talented and the tide can turn quickly on us and they could have our number just as easy.
Don, you spent many of remarkable years with Ricks AC. Last year
they stumbled majorly. What in your opinion
was the problem that made a
once elite team fold after all these years?
DH: It's hard to say
but I think chemistry and injuries were a big factor on last years team. I will say this about the Rick's A.C. teams of the
past they were like
being in a big family, Rick and Ann Gunkel were the best sponsors and
friends anyone on
the team could have and maybe someday I can play for
Don, I have watched you play more times than I can count. And let me
say this. You play harder than anyone, and
I mean anyone that I have
ever seen play. 110% at all times. Now softball has to run deep in the
family. I see your grandpa, I believe Marshall, almost on a
consistent basis at the tournaments and league nites
and your Dad
absolutely doesnt miss a Base Bandit game. You my friend play the game
of softball with the
same dedication. Is it safe to say that those two
played a prominent role in the way you play the game?
My dad played a major role in my career when I was a kid I was always at the ball field fielding ground balls and catching
high flies from members of
the great teams my dad played for and coached for. Believe me when I say
guys were some of the best players to ever play the game of
softball. My grandpa has always been a fan of the game
only but if he
could of he probably would of loved to play the game. ( probably the
best fan ever to watch
softball in NKY)
7. Would it be safe to say with the talent that you have on the Base
that the expectations this year would be a top 5 if not a
Championship in the Worlds tournament this year at Sterling
Michigan? Would anything less be unacceptable?
DH: Everybody wants to be a World Champion
but only 1 team can ,I hope it is us but if not someone from around the NKY area. I know if we don't win it it won't be
to handle because I will know we tried our best and gave a 110 %
like everyone on this team does all the time.
Now Don, on the not so positive side of these questions. I have
heard people around the league over the years accuse
you of dirty play.
What would be your response to someone calling you a dirty
If being dirty means you give 110% and want to win
every game I guess I am a dirty player but only in the descriptions
9. This is a fill in the blank question.
The biggest misconception
about Don Hankinson is________?
DH: That I am a dirty player, most of this is based on my hard-nosed
playing antics on the field.
10. Below are a list of positions. Without
using any Base Bandits,
list by each position the player that best fits in your opinion as the
best player at
that position. This will be Don Hankinsons 2003 all star
1B Kevin Greene
SS Jason Brown
3B Steve Klute
P Andy Isles ( sorry I know he is a Bandit but best around this
2 Outfielders Mike Cook, Brian Sandlin
AH Kevin Hall
11. Who in your opinion is the most under rated player in the game of
Jeff Bowman from J-Law I know he manages J-Law but he
should play more than he does he can hit for average or power
field the ball would love to have him on my team.
12. If there
was one thing that you could change about the game of
softball, what would it be?
because they should mean more
to players. Some nights you might see the same player playing 3 or more
in the same league with different teams. It should be the way it
was back when softball was softball,if you didn't
have enough to play
on a league night it was a forfeit and you went home with a win or loss.
The parks should
handle this better with rosters and policing games
13. Below are a list of
Parks. Bt using the 1-10 scale with 1 being a
dump and 10 being a field of dreams, give each park a rating
reason describing the reason you rated them as such.
Huddy Park 7 ( great location)
Riverstar 2 ( hate it fields are bad and lines are always to big
at concession stand)
Rivershore 7 ( nice setting for softball)
9 ( nice clean place to play softball)
Rumpke 4 ( usually only play in 1 tournament
a year there Metro,
can't stand the wood fences)
Pastime Park 2 ( smells and
looks bad when first built I was there
the premier park around but neglect has made it horrible)
7 ( good family atmosphere for softball lots of shade to
enjoy on hot days)
Below are a list of names and things relative to yourself and the
game of softball. By each one, give one word that
best describes them in
Donnie Hankinson ( hard-nosed player)
AC ( family)
Timmy Barker ( great competitor)
Huddy Park ( homeruns)
Bill Chard ( organizer)
Base Bandits (team)
J-Law Contracting (raw-talent)
Mike Hartfiel (quiet)
Kenny Clark (leader)
Benny Fields (power)
Here is a scenario for ya. If the Base Bandits were in the bottom
of the 7th inning, trailing my
1 run, with 2 outs and runners on 2nd
and 3rd and NO home runs left, in the 2003 championship of the Worlds
who besides yourself would you like to see at the plate on
the Base Bandit squad?
DH: Chris Garnett
a veteran of the game can hit
both sides of field and usually comes through when you need a big hit.
Go ahead and give me your top 5 in NKY softball.
2. BaseBandits and Red's Boy's
17. Donnie if you retired tomorrow, how would you want
remember Don Hankinson as a softball player?
DH: A person who loved the game and played each
game like it was his last one.
18. This is a relatively new question.
But please be honest for it
could be fun. What is your most embarrasing moment that you have in
of playing softball?
DH: About 10 years ago Rick's A.C.was playing in a tournament at Softball City
and had a 8:00 a.m. game and I over slept and Kenny Clark called me up and woke me up and said are you playing today.I jumped
up and got dressed got there in about the 3rd inning only game til this day I have been late for always there
before each game now.
19. On the flipside of the last question, what is your most rewarding
Don Hankinsons shining moment so far in his career?
DH: Being named NKY player of the year in 2000.
20. What is your opinion of the "superbats". Do you think they hurt
integrity of the game?
DH: Yes they do because it makes a person
like my-self hit homeruns sometimes.
The guys who are suppose to hit
homeruns will hit them with any bat they don't need help
Speaking of bats, what bat do you currently swing?
DH: D-Marini Classic